The Best **Digital PR** Tools Collated and Rated

We've researched average customer review scores for the most popular and widely used digital PR tools - so, you can quickly identify the best and brightest.

MEDIA DATABASES

Why Cision?

Well-regarded by PRs looking to get their work in front of the right people, Cision's 500,000+ pool of journalist contacts certainly has depth to it.

What's good?

It's great for evaluating media outlets, perfecting pitches and monitoring where your business is appearing across the globe.

What's not so good?

Cision has plenty of positives going for it, that's for sure. But many customers found its search requirements to be an issue. Unless you want to sift through page after page of what you're looking for, specificity is essential. And unless your PR offering is going places, it may be hard to justify its cost.

Why Roxhill?

Run by PRs and journalists, and dedicated to picking the brains of the industry’s biggest names, Roxhill's ranks have some serious clout among them.

What's good?

Armed with real insights and intelligence, it can help PRs approach some of journalism's biggest names (across all sorts of sectors) with top-notch digital PR campaigns. And the reviews suggest this is no mere marketing fluff. Chockfull of publication info, journalist biographies and actual PR professionals on hand with customer service, it's a strong choice for a media database. Its distribution tool takes care of your press release and email schedule, which is great for keeping your campaigns running in the background while you’re free to react to ad hoc developments going on in your industry.

What's not so good?

Some users noted that they’ve dealt with slow site speeds, an iffy search function and outdated information on occasion. Would you be willing to overlook these issues?

Why Muck Rack?

Without up-to-date information, effective PR is a struggle. Muck Rack's "Google for PRs" purports to provide the most up-to-date media database in the industry.

What's good?

Combined with in-depth journalist profiles that detail their recent work and pitch preferences, Muck Rack’s extensive database makes sparking relationships on a personal level easy. From the reviews we looked at, this level of detail certainly means more targeted angles from a pitching perspective. Plus, pitch metrics, an effective outreach scheduler and automated coverage let you know how much of an impact your work is creating.

What's not so good?

Muck Rack’s database pool is somewhat shallow, which can prove a problem for topics on the niche side of things. And about that up-to-date info claim. There were a few reviews which noted that the information was not as fresh as it should be, so be sure to keep this in mind if you go with Muck Rack.

Why Vuelio?

A company claiming to have the industry's most powerful media list is always going to be par for the course. But with over one million journalists, influencers and outlets, Vuelio makes a fair stab at the title.

What's good?

information and pitching preferences. And with strong search capabilities, it's easy to pinpoint exactly who and what you're looking for. Vuelio’s email scheduling tool can help your press releases reach journalists and influencers at the right time, too.

What's not so good?

PRs outside the UK may struggle, as the database becomes somewhat limited in smaller markets. Meanwhile, its Trustpilot reviews uncover some slightly worrying insights into their billings and auto-renewals...

Digital PR at Banc

Banc's Digital PR team cherrypick the best tools to aid ideation, creation, execution and outreach. Decades of experience, knowledge and skill go into every single Digital PR campaign the Banc team handles for clients - landing coverage in the UK's top publications and the world's most iconic websites.

JOURNALIST INFORMATION

Why Hunter.io

When companies like Google, IBM and Microsoft swear by your abilities, then you know you’re a bit of an industry heavyweight.

What's good?

Committed to finding and verifying the email addresses of over 100 million professionals, Hunter is great for PRs who want to spend less time looking for contact details and more time building a rapport with the right people. And thanks to the Campaigns feature, you craft the content while Hunter automates the outreach – taking care of everything from initial emails and follow-ups to scheduling, tracking and personalisation.

What's not so good?

It’s a great package, but many reviews find that the free tier lacks features. To access those, you’ll need to fork out for the premium product, which is pricier than competitors for what it offers…

Why Buzzstream?

Touting itself as the world’s best outreach CRM, Buzzstream might seem like it’s talking a big game. But by taking away the tedium of creating and poring over spreadsheets, Buzzstream instead collects data for you, automatically building lists and segmenting contacts by category without you having to lift a finger.

What's good?

Once you’ve found the bloggers and influencers you want to work with, it’s time to nurture those key relationships. With insights like previous interactions, your contact’s recent posts and other info on your side, reaching out, making connections and giving your campaign extra pull becomes so much more effective. Plus, when it’s combined with their email scheduling tool, you have the power to pick the time where your work will have maximum visibility among your prospects.

What's not so good?

There’s definitely a learning curve to get to grips with. The busy interface might turn away some, but for those willing to put the time in, Buzzstream’s feature-rich offering rewards perseverance.

Why Twitter?

It might not be as feature-packed as other tools, but don’t discount Twitter. The sheer number of journalists using the social media giant means it’s a valuable resource for contacting writers and getting more from the content you’ve penned.

What's good?

It’s a great tool for building databases of journalists who share their contact details. If you're working on a digital PR campaign, you'll want to know where to send your findings, and Twitter's a great source to build up that bank. Informal and direct, a friendly chat can often add another name to your useful contacts list.

What's not so good?

While these methods have proven effective since Twitter first went live, they’re not the most sophisticated. And since Twitter is a site filled with a lot of chatter and noise, you’ll have to spend a fair share of time to find who you’re looking for.

JOURNO REQUESTS

Why Twitter?

Alongside its research potential, Twitter is a great place to put in journo requests and fulfil those sent out by scribes. Free to use and boasting a huge bank of knowledge, Twitter is a regular haunt for journalists looking to add a little insight to their latest stories or spark a new conversation. Journalists understand how a little digital PR give-and-take with brands can be mutually beneficial - so, the site is often their first port of call for expertise.

What's good?

There's the potential to quickly and easily get your brand's thoughts, opinions and expertise in front of the right journalists. When a search for #journorequest strikes gold, a simple quote could land your brand top coverage in an esteemed publication. Great for brand awareness and your backlink profile.

What's not so good?

The competition. As with everything that's hugely effective and totally free, competition is rife. Your competitors may be utilising the same tactics, causing something of a race. The key here is to build relationships with any journalists you help. Give them a little something extra, keep them sweet and increase the chances they'll come directly back to you next time they need industry insights, rather than to the Twitter masses.

Why HARO?

Also known as Help A Reporter Out, HARO connects your content with experienced journalists looking to showcase their expertise, so you can put your work and research in front of diverse new audiences.

What's good?

HARO keeps the process simple and straightforward, with source requests that drop in your inbox three times a day. Once you’ve found something suitable, pitching is a case of answering the journalist’s questions or requirements and providing them with a bio.

What's not so good?

HARO is a popular platform, which means that requests get filled almost immediately. Reporters will receive hundreds of enquiries to just a single request – amongst all that noise, you might it difficult to make yourself heard.

EMAIL SCHEDULERS

Why Mail Merge?

Let’s say you need to send out a big batch of personalised emails, but that number falls just short of needing to fork out for an automated platform to do so. Mail Merge can take care of that for you, at a date and time that suits.

What's good?

Since it’s done through Microsoft Outlook and Word, there’s no need to download any other software to get started with Mail Merge. It’s good to go as soon as your computer boots up. Through Mail Merge’s customisation options, you can turn boilerplate messaging into something that feels personalised and unique. Plus, its straightforward schedule options make it easy to adjust the number, rate and intervals of your next email delivery.

What's not so good?

Annoyingly, Mail Merge doesn't provide statistics on open rates, which can really scupper your post-campaign review and any A/B testing you had planned. Also, there isn't the capacity to schedule a sequence of strategic follow-up emails, increasing the amount of manual legwork you have to put into continued contact.

COVERAGE FINDERS

Why BuzzSumo?

Once your content and stories go live, you’ll want to know how much of an impact they’re creating. Buzzsumo’s monitoring keeps tabs on every ripple, splash and wave you’re making across the web, from brand mentions to backlink wins.

What's good?

As well as keeping all your coverage in one easy-to-view place, Buzzsumo’s ability to gauge your popularity (as well as your competitor’s) lets you know what’s working and what’s not. Plus, its alert function pings you whenever key journalists and influencers drum up topics in your niche – so you can be the first to engage with them.

What's not so good?

The high price point was a common gripe. If your budget’s big enough, then Buzzsumo is an excellent choice. But companies with less money at their disposal should probably look elsewhere.

Why Google Alerts?

It may be a touch on the basic side – and a bit long in the tooth at this point – but Google Alerts still has value when you need to see what’s being said about you.

What's good?

It’s about as simple as it gets. You type a word in, adjust how often you want to be alerted, and that’s that. Repeat as needed.

What's not so good?

There’s very little in the way of bells and whistles here. Don’t expect in-depth analytics or reporting. Also, its filtering options are limited, which means you’ll have to be very specific with your keywords. Otherwise, you’ll be alerted to things that Google may think are relevant but have little to do with your actual aims.

SEO PR TOOLS

Why Ahrefs?

For when you’re fresh out of ideas, Ahrefs gets inspiration going again. Discover what keywords are ranking and where, find content topics and backlink opportunities, and delve into what your competitors are doing. With this kind of data at your disposal, Ahrefs is the wake-up call that all tired PR strategies could do with.

What's good?

Ahrefs’ all-in-one interface means you can start getting stuck into the details in no time, whether you’re looking for keyword suggestions, SEO metrics, keyword difficulty scores – and a whole lot more. You can spend a lot of time using Ahrefs and you’ll still have only scratched the surface. Plus, with 171 countries and multiple search engines supported, it’s great for spreading your searches further afield.

What's not so good?

When we say there are a lot of features on offer here, we mean it. The sheer amount of choice might put some off, especially if you’re not the biggest SEO boffin. The paid tiers are also a little on the pricey side, even from the outset. With such a steep entrance fee, certain PRs may end up missing out on some truly brilliant features.

Why Moz?

Quoting Lord of the Rings (“the one keyword research tool to rule them all”) might be a bold move, but Moz backs up the brag with a slew of SEO features designed to optimise your digital PR performance and create powerful results.

What's good?

Keyword research. Rank tracking. Link research. A lot of what makes Ahrefs great can also be found in Moz. So, what separates them? For one, a lot of reviews pointed to Moz’s cleaner interface and more intuitive experience. Meanwhile, its learning and resource guides, along with a community forum, mean it might be better geared towards those needing more of a steer with their SEO

What's not so good?

Although Moz’s Keyword Difficulty tool is a big plus, its keyword and backlink data let things down slightly. If it’s ideas for extra content you’re looking for, then you’ll have to pay for its Moz Content platform in addition. And since Moz itself isn’t the cheapest, you could be looking at some hefty monthly charges.

Why Majestic?

Like Moz, Majestic has been in the SEO game since 2004. And like other SEO tools, it offers site explorer, backlink check and keyword check capabilities just as you’d expect. But Majestic also touts Trust Flow and Citation Flow: two tools that let you measure the quality and quantity of links that point to websites, respectively. And with the largest Link Intelligence database in the world (nearly 9 trillion!), the potential to improve your SEO performance is high.

What's good?

Trust Flow and Citation Flow are, as you’d expect, great for measuring reliability and authority. Its Search Explorer tool comes in handy too, scanning its index to analyse the SEO performance of certain keywords. For huge websites with a lot of evergreen content, this can save you a huge amount of time.

What's not so good?

To say that Majestic is old school would be an understatement. The interface is looking a little creaky at this point, so it’s fairly unintuitive as a result. And you guessed it: Majestic gets pricey, and fast. The free version doesn’t have enough features to make it worthwhile, while the Lite and Pro plans are limited to only one user account.

Why SEMRush?

SEMRush’s credentials speak for themselves. 21 international awards. A client list stacked with Fortune 500 companies. 10 million marketing professionals who swear by it. It’s easy to see why it’s the go-to for so many.

What's good?

It’s a fantastic all-in-one platform (“The Swiss Army Knife of SEO”, one review gushed), whether you’re improving your own site’s health or getting the lay of the land on your competition. From identifying gaps in your keywords and backlinks to analysing what other businesses are doing, SEMRush’s extensive tools are more than up to the task of plugging the empty spaces of your strategy.

What's not so good?

Pricing is once again an issue here, but you’re getting plenty of bang for your buck if you’re willing to fork out. It also only provides data for Google, which may or may not be a problem for you. Certain reviews also noted slow-to-update keyword data. If the latest data is vital to you, that may be a turn-off.

Keen on Digital PR?